York University Cave and Pothole Club

Explorations in the Picos de Europa

View over the Cares Gorge from Vega Huerta (Photo: Dave Milne)



Expedition Summaries
1984    1987    1990
1985    1988    1991
1986    1989    1994

Pozo de Cuetalbo (M2)
Pozo de Llastrale (β3)
Sima de Cotalbin (K903) Thesaurus Fragilis (M921)

Survey Galleries

Image Galleries

Camping in β3, 1990

Caving Clubs
Caving in the Picos



Picos '88 Summary

With the completion of work in Pozo de Cuetalbo (M2) during the previous Summer, York and SEII, joined by SEG, returned to Vega Huerta with aims:

  • To continue the exploration of Pozo de Llastrale (β3) if snow levels in the entrance permitted. This had been explored to a depth of 250 m in 1987.

  • To look for new entrances.

As well as many smaller finds, a major new cave, Pozo de la Garita Cimera (β47) was discovered.

Extent of B3 explored by the end of 1988Pozo del Llastral (β3)

Pozo de la Garita Cimera (β47)

Pozo de la Garita Cimera (β47) is a beautiful, relatively comfortable cave, except for its final part. The verticals' enthusiast will enjoy the clean, dry shafts, particularly the P50 and P85. The first 300 m depth can be characterised as a pitch-ramp series (typical of the Picos), broken by a narrow rift at 180 m (Baby Bouncer) and a break down area at 185 m depth (Sala de los Bloques Impresentables).

From the base of the P85, the cave becomes predominantly horizontal with narrow passages and awkward, short, sloping pitches. At the limit of exploration, a pitch estimated a 50 m depth awaits.

Minor Finds

Most notable among the minor finds was O La Merienda de Negros (a37). Much effort was expended by members of SEG in exploring this cave to a depth of 46 m. Other caves, explored predominantly by SEG include a24, a25, a31, a34, a35, a35bis, a36, a38, a39, a40, a45, a46, a47, a48, a68, a69, b7, b8, b25, b26-38-39, b36, b42, and Pozo de la Forcadona.

UK Contingent

    Mike Edgington Chris Gibson
Henry Hill Simon Mann David Milne  


SEG Journal covering 1988 Kaos de Bloques, Dec 1989, No 3, SEG in Spanish. Text PDF (63kB), Graphics PDF (39MB)
Excerpt from Caves & Caving 49 "Beneath Vega Huerta"; Y.U.C.P.C. Picos '89 Expedition, Caves & Caving 49, Paul Thorlby (YUCPC) in English. PDF (1676KB)

WebAuthor: D.Milne[at]Tesco.Net